Film

Movie Ramblings: Shutter

Shutterposter

The original 2004 Thai version, not the 2008 US remake. This film is about a photographer, Tun, with a shady past who gets involved in supernatural goings on when all of his photographs start coming out blurry. After having a car accident with his girlfriend, Jane, and fleeing the scene, he finds that all the pictures he takes have “spirits” in them.  Slowly his shady past comes to light and the reasons for his haunting become clear.

The first thing we noticed about this movie was the terrible sound quality.  This might just have been a fault with the copy we have but the dialogue sounded like it had all been recorded on a cheap microphone a few metres too far away from the actors. Fortunately, since we don’t speak Thai, we were already relying on the subtitles which were working fine. The sound issues may actually have lent an ethereal quality to the movie anyway.

shutter1

Following the car accident, many of Tun’s friends kill themselves and Jane becomes convinced that the girl she ran over is Natre, a girl who Tun dated at college. The couple go on an investigative mission to discover what is going on. The investigation leads them to the home of Tun’s former girlfriend and reveals information about their relationship and the relationships between the group of friends during their college years. Slowly, the reasons for the supernatural events and deaths become clear.

shutter3

There are some creepy moments during the film but it doesn’t really have the scares or creepiness that go along with the horror tag but the majority of the story is about the detective work and unravelling of the back story. In these days of loud garish jump-a-minute horror movies this is a refreshing change but unfortunately the story of a jilted lover, college bullying, and suicide isn’t ultimately interesting enough to make up for the essentially boring bits you have to sit through to get there. There is probably a language/culture barrier issue that aggravates this, I found it very hard to follow the relationships between the characters and I couldn’t really get a feel for many of the characters emotional involvements. I don’t usually struggle with foreign language or subtitles so maybe it is because I’m very unfamiliar with Thai culture and language.

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The ending has some twists and is suitably bleak but the middle part just needs a little more polish. Perhaps I’ll try the US one and see how it compares. It might be the first time I enjoy a US remake of a foreign language film more than the original.

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